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Sturgeon Cuts

Posted on 11th January 2012 at 08:53

For the third year in a row, the Fish Commissions in Washington and Oregon are recommending a reduction in the allowable catch of White Sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River. Last Saturday, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission called for reducing the combined sport and commercial catch by 38 percent, 13 percent above the 25 percent reduction that the Oregon Fish Commission is advising. Fishery managers says that the evidence is clear, that the abundance of “legal-size” sturgeon in the Lower Columbia has declined by nearly 50 percent over the past four years. They trace the drop-off to increased predation by sea lions, and a severe drop in diet for the sturgeon, particularly smelt and lamprey. Any cuts to the sturgeon harvest would come after a 30 percent reduction last year, and a 40 percent reduction in 2010. The current quota being projected between Wauna and Bonneville Dam is being estimated at 2,080 fish, with a quota of 4,160 fish below Wauna to the river mouth. It’s planned that the sturgeon quotas and seasons will be set at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Olympia on the 3rd and 4th of next month.